I have been a follower of Twisty Faster’s blog for a few years. I’ve always enjoyed her snark and wit and ability to really break things down into very understandable chunks. However I do feel compelled to respond to this post by her and criticize some of the analysis.
My main issues of concern as a feminist are expanding reproductive rights. Fighting the global sex industry and its apologists. Labor exploitation of women in the third world. Femicide and all forms of violence against women so I’m not really a hard hitter when it comes to fighting for FAB (female at birth) spaces and the like. I support them though, although I don’t expect every place I go to be like that and I have no qualms working with transfolk on various issues that need to be addressed. I do however see the need for people who have been socialized as women their entire lives to work together to deconstruct their oppression and develop the skills they need to fight it. Myself included.
It is not necessary, in order for the oppressed to unite behind the common cause of liberation, that every oppressed person should share the background experiences of every other oppressed person. It is not only not necessary; it is not possible. The imposition of such jingoistic strictures precludes all possibility of revolution.
Oppression is oppression. Race, ethnicity, religion, pigmentation, sex, gender, health, education, class, caste, age, weight, ableness, mental health, marital status, employment status, diet, IQ, internet access — any combination of these or a thousand other arbitrary markers may be used by the powerful to justify oppression, but the net result is always the same: discrimination, disenfranchisement, degradation, dehumanization. It’s the Four Ds! The Four Ds make all oppressed persons identical enough.
excerpt from blog post at I Blame the Patriarchy.
Can I just say that I agree. Oppression is oppression and we all need to unite with real solidarity if we’re going to ever do anything about the multitude of issues we’re all facing. However this post was spurred by the announcement that I Blame the Patriarchy was going to become a woman-only space. If oppression is oppression than surely you must recognize that many men face oppression, be it national, racial, economic etc. If oppression is oppression than why are you creating a female-only space?
There are reasons why autonomous organizing by the oppressed of the world is necessary. As I stated already we each carry baggage from being indoctrinated in this patriarchal, white supremacist, imperialist, capitalist society. Women particularly are facing extreme challenges in undoing BEHAVIORAL ASPECTS of themselves that are indoctrinated which consistently make them defer to men and change their behavior around men. Creating a female – only space helps women to deal with those issues together and see themselves as people who are perfectly capable of doing anything they need to.
Have the space how you want, but it seems to me that if you allow transwomen open access when they’ve been indoctrinated throughout their lives to behave in certain ways that oppress FAB women then you should probably allow all the oppressed of the world, and that includes men, commenting privileges.